The Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat
The Parker Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat holds nearly 60,000 gallons of water, including a medical pool. The pool offers both deep and shallow water, allowing the manatees to maintain natural feeding behaviors. An exhibit area within the facility helps to educate the public about manatee anatomy and offers above and below water viewing. Manatee Care Specialists provide presentations about manatee habitat, nutrition and physiology. Working closely with US Fish and Wildlife Service and critical care hospitals for manatees, the Museum’s Manatee Rehabilitation Habitat is a second stage rehabilitation facility. A second stage facility provides a temporary home for manatees that will be released back into the wild after having received treatment from an acute care hospital. The Habitat has housed 36 manatees as part of the rehabilitation program. The facility was the permanent home to Manatee County’s official mascot and the oldest known manatee in the world, Snooty, who passed away in 2017 at a record-breaking 69 years old.
Exhibition: Being a Sea Turtle is Hard — But You Can Help!
Sea turtles and manatees share similar evolutionary histories — both animals are descendants of terrestrial species. Unfortunately, they also share similar threats — from loss of habitat to man-made obstacles. All sea turtle species are federally listed as threatened or endangered.
This exhibition highlights some of the ways that the public can be good stewards and help keep sea turtles safe on our local beaches and in our local waterways. It features life-size scientific illustrations of the five sea turtle species that call the Gulf of Mexico home, along with the skeleton of a loggerhead sea turtle — the most common sea turtle species on Florida’s west coast and shows the ecosystem connections that manatees and sea turtles share.
“Being a Sea Turtle is Hard — But You Can Help!” also showcases information about loggerhead nesting on Anna Maria Island as monitored by the Anna Maria Island Turtle Watch, with running totals of false crawls and nests laid during the annual May-October sea turtle nesting season and shows the public how they can make a difference in the lives of these animals.
The exhibit was funded in part by a grant awarded from the Sea Turtle Grants Program, which is supported by proceeds from the sale of the Florida Sea Turtle License Plate. Learn more at helpingseaturtles.org.